Cope-Fitzpatrick Sees Bright Future for USC

Count Rocklin (Calif.) Whitney tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick among the believers in the future of Trojan football."It seems like they're really getting the ship in the right direction," Cope-Fitzpatrick said. "I really like their attitude. They have a full head of steam and are looking to do big things."

Count Rocklin (Calif.) Whitney tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick among the believers in the future of Trojan football.

Cope-Fitzpatrick attended USC Junior Day on Saturday and came away impressed with the energy and enthusiasm of the coaching staff.

"It seems like they're really getting the ship in the right direction," Cope-Fitzpatrick said. "I really like their attitude. They have a full head of steam and are looking to do big things."

Spending time with quarterback coach Clay Helton, who oversees northern California recruiting, offensive line coach James Cregg, Cope-Fitzpatrick was wowed by 28-year old Justin Mesa, a former graduate assistant and administrative assistant who will work with tight ends next season.

"I kind of like it in a sense. He knows the offense well. He can relate (to my generation)," Cope-Fitzpatrick said. "Just the way he was talking was motivating me."

Plans for the new John McKay Center, now under construction behind Heritage Hall, also left an impression.

"It was amazing. All the schools are pushing their facilities and USC is right there," Cope-Fitzpatrick said.

The McKay Center also played into one of the central themes of the day, academics, as the new facility will house all academic-support services for Trojan athletes.

"I thought USC would be talking football all day. They really pushed academics," Cope-Fitzpatrick said.

While Cope-Fitzpatrick did not add a USC offer to a list that already includes Cal, UCLA, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State on Saturday, he understands that the pending appeal of NCAA sanctions could play a role in if and when an offer comes.

Coaches told Cope-Fitzpatrick while they are hoping for the best with the appeal, they are currently planning to take just 18 recruits in the Class of 2012.

As such, Cope-Fitzpatrick could return for the Rising Stars Camp in June.

"I love to compete and show I belong at this level," he said.


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